Why I Draw

Why I Draw

You may not be a Picasso or Mozart but you don’t have to be. Just create to create. Create to remind yourself you’re still alive. Make stuff to inspire others to make something too.
— Frederick Terral

While I was in high school, I was getting tired of all my friends gleaming over these boy bands like the Backstreet Boys and NSync. It was annoying. They would play their music loud in their cars, sing them in the hallways, and even expect dudes like me to take heed in what these manufactured bands were singing about. What did I naturally do? I took it to the pencil and paper and decided to create a little comic book parodying the whole boy band craze called Whackstreet Boys. Not the most creative title in the world, but it got the reaction I wanted.

I love being able take an idea, creating something, and see if it was anywhere along the lines of what I imagined in my head. Sometimes it’s not exactly what I imagined but going through that process over and over again — you begin to get better and better. And seeing those improvements over time in my drawings have always excited me and that’s a huge reason why I continue to draw. Here’s the elements and a bit of a breakdown of why I draw:

The beauty of a blank page

A blank page represents the excitement of creating. The page is just calling for you to make a mark and start anew. There’s just so many possibilities here and you’re in control. You can do anything and no one can stop you. If anything, you can always start with a new blank page.

The wonder of an imagination

When I draw, anything is possible. You literally draw from your experiences and the imagination hopefully you haven’t lost while you were a kid. From the graffiti you see on brick walls, cartoon characters you see in the Sunday funnies to artists you meet at local Sketchbombs — you’re creating something inspired but unique to you.

The satisfaction of being done

There’s always an end point when I draw, whether it’s what you expected or something totally different — you end with a finished product. Either I say, “damn, that’s not what I wanted” and scrap it or “sweet — that’s going up somewhere!”. There’s definitely a lot of the former, but when a drawing clicks — it’s a great feeling. Sometimes it takes a ton of “damns” before you get to a “sweet”.

I continue to draw today mostly on my iPad — I love Zen Brush. I’m not the best artist by any means, but like I mentioned a week ago — “it soothes my soul.” Drawing keeps my brain fresh and taps into the creativity I want to keep from my childhood. Maybe that’s why I love working and building products at startups so much. There’s a sense of taking an idea, building it, and seeing it through while getting feedback. It’s a fun continuous process.

I know there’s a ton of artists at heart out there. It would be great to hear from you on why you draw. Feel free to just tweet me @joesunga with a #whyidraw hashtag to a tweet explaining why you draw or leave a comment below. I’d love to start curating everyone’s thoughts.

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  • Anonymous

    Great post sir!

    As you know there almost isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t do some sort of creating. It is mostly with pencil on paper, but from time to time it is in another way. For me it’s all about creating. When you create something you have total control, and I absolutely love that. I love to get in a characters head and figure out why he is thinking in the way he does. Why is he mad, did he just stub his toe, or did something more happen like a lose in his life. Even with just one image you are able to create such feeling and emotion. I love posting a image in my Deviant Art gallery and getting posts from folks that say stuff like man I really love the expression, or I really enjoy the feeling he is portraying. When I am able to get into a characters head, and make it so everyone is feeling the way I wanted them to, it is such a feeling of fulfillment to me.

    Drawing is also a way to get out feelings of emotion, or helping someone else who is going threw something emotional. I didn’t notice but a few years back after my mother had past away my drawing often were characters angry or sad. I didn’t notice how extreme it was, but looking back at it drawing was in a big way something to help me get threw some major emotions I had deep down in my innards.

    All in all you can explore and do so much with just a few swipes on a blank canvas, and that is something incredible. To be able to create anything you can see in your mind, and few things you didn’t know were there is really a gift, and it’s something everybody has and should explore.

    Thanks for posting this Joe!

    – Josh

    • http://josephsunga.com Joseph Sunga

      You said it best, “Drawing is also a way to get out feelings of emotion, or helping someone else who is going threw something emotional.” There’s so much you can get from it — and I find it make sense with drawing, building, creating, or anything dealing with making something new. I knew you’d like this post, it’s right up your alley.

      It’s been awesome seeing what you’ve done over these past years and I continue to look forward to seeing what you do in the future. Go Frosty Giant Productions!

      • Anonymous

        Hahaha thanks man! Just trying to do my part in this world we live in!

  • JP Nunez

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. I got to your post through a friend at deviantART. I’ll try and be brief but wanted to share my story if I could…

    I started drawing since I can remember early in elementary. I remember always having a pencil and paper with me drawing whatever came to mind or copying my favorite cartoons.

    In High School, I ran into the comic of “Calvin and Hobbes”. I was then pushed with inspiration to a new world of possibilities. That strip got me through so much and inspired me to do so much more with my artwork.

    I never would I have thought that I would have a career drawing or using my drawings. I never new that such a job would existed. I kept drawing and eventually bumped into a friend who saw a drawing of mine. He told me that there was a position for an artist where he worked. I took my best work and thankfully got the job… and thats where my graphic adventure began.

    I started slowly learning Illustrator, then Photoshop. These are still my main apps I use today. I quickly learned to draw something out, scan it, create clean lines in Illustrator, and paint it or airbrush it in Photoshop.

    I’m thankful that I can support my family today with my work. I too am not great Picasso by any means but I do think I strive at taking ideas, and coming up with a great logo or design for my customers.

    I haven’t done a complete drawing in just pencil and pens in a while, but do share the feeling of being in a sorta zen zone. It makes me happy when I finish my artwork and how have my wife and three boys to share it with… they are my biggest fans.

    • http://josephsunga.com Joseph Sunga

      Why haven’t I responded to this earlier? Thank you so much, JP, for sharing your story. This is awesome. It’s funny I came across Calvin and Hobbes during my childhood as well, and I still have that comic book to this day.

      I truly think people should “create”. That doesn’t mean just drawing, or even artwork — people need to get their creative juices running all the time and everyone has their own. That’s great to hear you’ve been able to make a living with your passion. And I’m sure your “biggest fans” will continue to love what you do even though you may not be Picasso. :)